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DxOMark tests Nokia Lumia 1020's Raw image quality

96
Thanks to the "Black" firmware update the Nokia Lumia 1020 is now capable of capturing DNG files. 

When the Nokia Lumia 1520 was launched in October 2013 it took the honor of being first smartphone to offer Raw image capture. Now the same feature was recently added to the older model Lumia 1020 via the Nokia "Black" firmware update. 

With an unusually large (for a smartphone) 1/1.5-inch image sensor, the Nokia Lumia 1020's image quality was already among the very best when only looking at JPEG capabilities. It's number five in DxOMark's all-time mobile rating with 74 points and it scored very well in our review on Dpreview Connect as well.

With the device now capturing images in DNG Raw format our partners at DxOMark have been able to put the Lumia 1020 through its Raw-based sensor testing and compared it to hundreds of cameras in its database. Considering that we are looking at a smartphone, the results are pretty interesting. 

With a DxOMark sensor score of 41 points, the Nokia 1020 ranks 222 out of 242 cameras tested. Testers were pleasantly surprised by the Lumia's color depth and dynamic range but found the sensor's small pixel pitch to restrict performance in low light.

Go to dxomark.com for more details and comparisons with Raw-capable compact cameras. We are planning to have a closer look at the Lumia 1020's Raw files here at Dpreview as well, and hope to publish an article with some real-life samples soon. We are also currently working on our full review of the Lumia 1520 which will offer some insight about this new model's Raw image quality.

Comments

Total comments: 96
Gonard

I need help getting DNG Raw files from my Nokia 1520 (OS 8.1). Please contact me at conradweiler3@gmail.com if you can help.
Thanks.

0 upvotes
kadardr

Hopefully mobile hone raw shooting will make dng format widespread not only in the mobile world but in camera world too.

0 upvotes
RobLW

Wife got this phone, and it turns out it's pretty damn excellent. Photo's at night isn't great but whats to be expected with such a small sensor. Photo's during day are great. the manual control is awesome, and the windows OS turns out to be pretty nifty once you get use to it.

0 upvotes
Marcus12

I have a phone. It's a phone.

2 upvotes
zzzxtreme

if it's android, it will sell well

1 upvote
wheelinthesky

I'd consider this phone if I could get Sirius XM and Grindr to work on it.

0 upvotes
prodrone

40MPx (a bit less in 16:9) shines in a good light, no contest. I've got great black rubber case for it that makes for super non-conspicuous shooting. The noise of the sensor fascinates me, it is not that digital destructive noise seen on other devices, it is something like a fine grain film noise, a big keeper for now.

0 upvotes
SeaBreezee

Owing s4 zoom waiting for s5 zoom no need to trade OS now !

0 upvotes
Houseqatz

I switched to a 1020 from an iphone 4s. sure i miss some of the time wasters, and music apps, but for the most part windows phone os does everything i need it to do. namely integrate with office and deliver work related email. there are a few things that took some getting used to, but no show stoppers.

about the speed of the nokia camera app, you have to treat it like a technical camera, in that you're rewarded for proper composition and configuration of the camera before you shoot. that said, the nokia camera app does quite well in auto mode. can it keep up with my dslr? in some circumstances, yes, but not all.. in some regards it's better, because i always have it on me, but i won't pretend that it can handle the extremes that dslr's are capable of. the camera is second to one, or so i'm told, and even the built in windows camera app delivers when i need it to.

1 upvote
Grand Exposures Photography

To everyone who's complaining about the Windows Phone OS I would challenge you to spend a month with a windows phone as your primary device and see if you still complain. I've had an iPhone 4 for a couple years, spent a year with my much loved but very broken HTC 8X (Win Phone 8), and am now sporting an Xperia Z1. Given the chance I would happily trade my Android handset for another Windows phone, the OS is IMO just as polished and cohesive as iOS (can't say the same for Android) but is more customizable and streamlined. And as far as the App market, sure it can't entirely compete with the iOS or Android marketplace but take a look, all the big names are there and the included apps are really very good. I believe that anyone who complains about Windows Phone for reasons other than personal preference are simply speaking out of ignorance.

Back to the actual article, RAW support is awesome and I would have had this phone for sure if it was available from my carrier!

4 upvotes
darngooddesign

"To everyone who's complaining about the Windows Phone OS I would challenge you to spend a month with a windows phone as your primary device and see if you still complain."

I've heard of Stockholm Syndrome as well. :D

3 upvotes
JayDT

I don't get the OS comments, WP does everything iOS does on an iPhone 5 but with better integration to office etc.

As for the camera and apps I don't get why you would edit an image on such a tiny screen especially when the 1020 chucks out such nice sized files to play with. The nokia camera app is brilliant and has almost all the tweets one needs. Sharpness is not there I know but the files go into Photoshop do what's the problem there.

The nokia app is slow, both on load and shot to shot... Well if you want to get a good, quick image use the built in Microsoft camera app, as fast as an iPhone with the same quality. Tried it against a 5s and no difference. BUT when your being creative, which is the point of RAW, and plan the shot then it's amazing. Had a Sony Rx100 and sold it after the RAW update, no point. Files and quality are same as the Sony and the print quality is the same. Fine I loose a zoom and a little speed... But one unit rather than two wins! Simples.

2 upvotes
wakaba

Totally agree. Have a 1520. The faster chipset makes a difference. The 1020 is fluid, the 1520 is speedy. The bigger screen gives a better feedback. Raw files processing in Nikon View NX. Same app I use with my D600. There is enough headroom to do editing. There is no shortage of meanigful apps in the market place. The OS is welldeveloped.

The Nokia photo-app, keep it open in the background. Flick and its instantly there.

With RAW available - every other phone that is not supporting it is now a doorstop.

Nokia should work on making the phones last longer. Big nuissance. Also that thing should be waterproof to 15m. With wireless charging, cloud backup. There is just no need for waterholes in that phone.

1 upvote
HB 101

Agree, wrong OS.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

What does the OS have to do with whether you shoot raw or not?

Are you going to do lots of 41MP raw extraction on a smart phone of any OS?

And except for the fact of fewer "apps" which don't have anything to do with shooting raw, the Windows Phone OS is well liked.

And like many Android phones, the Nokia 1520 has a card slot.

1 upvote
darngooddesign

You would have a point if you only used it as your camera, but for an all purpose device the OS does matter.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml

Amazing camera but I'll have this at a much cheaper price.

0 upvotes
Sergey Borachev

Who cares?

It's got the wrong OS. Proprietary stuff and little apps, no way! The greatest camera is no use. Software first.

2 upvotes
mailman88

Nokia 1020 has great photo software apps. As for the non essential apps, yes Nokia is lacking. Nokia told the media, they'll catch-up on the app department in 2014.
As for my Nokia 1020, spot-on exposure, shoots raw and excellent results..I'm happy!

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
BrunoH

So Lumia got an OS where you can remove all and every proprietary app installed from the ISP and manufacturer - whitout needing to root the Phone!!

And it got an API where apps can reach the camera hardware...

How is this wrong OS?

Talking of apps, didn't you hear?... Windows Phone got Instagram... App problem solved ... :-)

10 upvotes
Lars Rehm

The OP has a point. The cameras on most recent Lumias are excellent but Windows Phone has a slight App Problem, at least in the imaging sector. I am currently trying to use the Lumia 1520 as my main phone but can't really do that because one of my favorite imaging apps, EyeEm, stopped supporting its Windows version quite some time ago. Instagram is available but in Beta version and with reduced features compared to other versions. And I am struggling to find an image editor that comes close to Pixlr or Snapseed on Android. So it really comes down to what you are doing with your phone camera. If you just want the best possible image quality you can't go wrong with the 1020. But if you are used to certain imaging apps you better make sure you can live without them before you switch to Windows.

2 upvotes
Jake2046

there is always an alternative.

Fantasia Painter - fantastic photo editor and more.
Fhotoroom
Picture Perfect

6tag > instagram beta.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Lars Rehm

I tried Fantasia Painter and Fhotoroom, none of them come even close to Snapseed in my opinion but I'll give them another shot.

1 upvote
JayDT

Upload the file to photoshop and edit it for real lol??

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm

That's one way of doing it but somehow defeats the purpose of the whole "mobile thing". And to be honest there are quite a few apps out there that let you do all the important stuff quite comfortably on a phone.

1 upvote
CyberAngel

The same with any "mobile camera"!
They don't have Lightroom, Photoshop etc.

When you go RAW like a pro
it's all done with a PC/Mac.

1 upvote
JoeWall

I broke my Android and now back on my 4-year old iPhone. The company that puts a decent 1 inch sensor in a smartphone gets my money

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Is there a VoIP application for Android 4, which can then run on the Samsung Galaxy NX, that's more than a "one inch" sensor?

0 upvotes
bigley Ling

ooo, is there a VOIP app for the 1020?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

bigley:

ooo, figure out how you can use a Nokia 1020 or Samsung Galaxy S3 as a phone yet without a VoIP application installed?

The point remains that the Samsung Galaxy NX is a big sensored camera with an Android tablet built-in. Just so you’re clear, the Nokia 1020's sensor is nowhere near as big, nor does the Nokia take interchangeable lenses.

1 upvote
JayDT

Yes but the 1020 is small... Enough said. Completely different products so not really comparable.

0 upvotes
Gethin Coles

I had a galaxy camera for a while. In theory that was a "phone" with a big sensor. Unfortunately it was a crap camera and a crap phone. Having a huge smartphone screen on a camera though = no brainer

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Gethin Coles:

The Samsung Galaxy NX camera is not the camera you're referring to.

0 upvotes
Joel Benford

The 1020 is a very nice camera for a phone. But I care about my camera more than than my phone. What I really want from "convergence" is a camera that makes phone calls and runs Android apps, not a phone with a beefed up phone camera.

Front wheel for aperture, real wheel for exposure compensation, google streetmap + gps to work where I've wandered in a daze whilst taking photos, a phone to call a taxi and get me home, and my games of choice (not the camera maker's choice) to play while I wait.

Now there's a converged "one less gadget" solution I could like.

7 upvotes
Juandante

Totally agree !

But this is a big risk for the manufaterer to take, as it will be far more expensive, just watch the lovely Galaxy NX, unfortunately in APSC. But one day or an other, this will exist as they will not know what to put in cameras again for people to buy. I just say in 5 years .

0 upvotes
Gethin Coles

I agree but the camera must be in no way compromised by the phone and the phone needs to work as a phone - so the usibility needs to be uncompromised

0 upvotes
SeaBreezee

Check s4 zoom also s5 zoom is around the corner

0 upvotes
darngooddesign

@Gethin. You might as well just have separate devices because there will never be a camera phone that you will be happy with.

0 upvotes
Suave

Did it beat 1D X and how bad?

1 upvote
kansasphotog

With the RAW update Nokia has improved an already great imaging device. The lines will continue to blur between "cameras" and other imaging devices like smartphones. It's totally possible to shoot a paid assignment with the 1020...I have.

Congrats to Nokia for updating the 1020 with DNG support!

4 upvotes
JayDT

Nicely put. Did anyone see the David Bailey shoot? The national Geographic coverage? It works. Why all the negativity?

1 upvote
RichRMA

Eesh!

"With a DxOMark sensor score of 41 points, the Nokia 1020 ranks 222 out of 242 cameras tested."

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

DXO sensor scoring is nearly useless.

Get raws, then extract with serious raw processing software.

0 upvotes
bigley Ling

Was DXO not using RAW processed data for their sensor scoring?

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

bigley:

For sensor “scoring”, DXO skips the lens(es), and the in camera raw processor, so that’s two hugely important raw image quality factors that DXO ignores.

Hence: DXO sensor scores are nearly useless.

Body, transmission, suspension, and engine management+transmission+suspension computers all have a great deal to do with the overall performance of a car, DXO is effectively choosing to simply look at engine horsepower and little else.

So DXO looks at raw sensor data, while getting raws means you’ve used the camera(s).

0 upvotes
bigley Ling

how do you skip the lens when sensor scoring with phones or cameras with fixed lens? I would imagine the only way would be to completely cover the 1020 lens, and capture essentially a dark exposure and analyse that?

Even if DXO omits looking at the rest of the camera part of the 1020 as a whole, it is still interesting to know how the "engine" performs. Alot of people when they see a nice car, they will ask how much horse power it has, and not how is the suspension in this car, or how many and what kind of gear box a car may have.

That being said, it is good to see the 1020 is keeping up with the likes of digicams, considering it is after all a smart phone, and also it has been quite a technological achievement to maintain good pixel IQ while having such tiny 1.1 micron pixels.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

bigley:

This isn’t news about what DXO skips, I imagine that DXO skips the lens and the camera’s computer by taking the sensor out and looking at data out put directly from the sensor.

DXO sensor scoring remains next to useless.

No, those who care about a vehicle’s performance indeed pay attention to things like the engineering of the suspension, driver position, brakes...

0 upvotes
pew pew

you probably have a canon thats why you say its useless.

0 upvotes
5inchfloppy

222 out of 242 CAMERAS. That includes SLRs, mirrorless, etc.

Look on the left side, out of all the MOBILES, it's no. 5. That's pretty impressive, and with the 808 still at no.1 spot, Nokia has now two devices in the top 5.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

pew pew:

Nope. Also wrote: "next to".

0 upvotes
sonsw87

but is it a good "phone"?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

It's been out for something like a year, I'm sure you can find comments on that elsewhere.

Yes, the Windows Phone OS is now generally well liked.

5 upvotes
ob33315

actually, it is a great phone. it could benbefit from faster processing as saving the image nad getting to the next shoot cycle takes a little too long, for my taste. Although this was improved with the black update it is still too slow. Otherwise, great phone, hardware and really great images.

1 upvote
shaocaholica

Apple and Google need to get on this. Yes I know Google is working on it.

0 upvotes
skytripper

Most people who think a smart phone is a camera don't even know what RAW capability is. To each his own, but carrying a small, high-quality pocket camera at all times is the easiest thing in the world. Who needs a phone that deludes itself that it's a real camera?

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

And sometimes that smartphone is the only camera you have with you.

And I don't even own a smart phone.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm

My guess is you have never used the Lumia 1020. The thing has pretty amazing IQ that beats quite a few compact cameras easily.

12 upvotes
kansasphotog

Agreed Lars....I have the 1020 and it is part of my working kit as a photographer. To me, Nokia seems to actually care about photography...offering up improvements faster than some "camera" companies.

5 upvotes
Juandante

Basically, Nokia never add improvement in their mobile camera. They just take ideas of compact camera and integrate it in a phone : what they are good at is integration.

Downsampling was already existing back in 2006 with the Kodak digital cameras. And a lot of other features : OIS, machanical shutter, fill-flash and AF flash, wide angle, etc.

It is easy to know what will be Nokia's next camera argument, just watch what a compact camera have.

I agree that 41 mp is never seen, but the idea behind was already on the market more than 6 years ago.

0 upvotes
Magnus3D

Smartphones have never made humans smarter, only dumber. Just look at all those iDiots out there.. :)

0 upvotes
Bigger Tom

Possibly stupid question, but I've got the FV-5 app running on my Samsung S4 and it claims to offer "RAW" - you can change settings to output PNG files which *appear* not to have had noise reduction or sharpening. Is this just software trickery, or does this mean the Nokia isn't the only/first to offer RAW capability?

1 upvote
Lars Rehm

wouldn't call it trickery...it's more of a very misleading thing to label those images Raw. You cannot get any real Raw files out of any Android or Iphone at the moment. The camera APIs simply don't allow for that, so app developers cannot get to the raw data. The Nokia Lumia 1020 and 1520 are the first phones to offer real Raw output. That said, Android is apparently planning to offer Raw capability on some phones in the nearer future.

3 upvotes
Schwermetall

The FV-5 doesn't offer real RAW.
But it's the only App I know where you can set the sharpness, contrast and saturation.
I've the S4mini and there it's possible to set a flat unsharpend picture with FV-5.
On my Nexus 7 it doesn't work.

0 upvotes
Bigger Tom

Interesting. So what is it doing? As Schwermetall says it allows you to alter sharpness/contrast/saturation - does it apply these settings on top of the S4's default processing of the camera output?

0 upvotes
Shadowww

Most likely it just affects phone's internal raw conversion settings - just like Picture Control on DSLRs, for example, where you can choose between different JPEG engine presets, such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid, etc.

0 upvotes
Schwermetall

That's right. With FV-5 you can avoid a oversharpend picture like it's typicaly for Samsung

0 upvotes
jmanzar

The pictures from this phone look very good but there aren't any good image apps for windows phone.

0 upvotes
tkbslc

http://connect.dpreview.com/post/5397665842/5-must-have-windows-8

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

jmanzar:

Move the DNGs to a computer (Mac, Linux or Win) with raw extraction software. And stop worrying about doing extraction of the phone. The bigger Nokia 1520 even has a card slot.

1 upvote
bigley Ling

@HowaboutRAW

or transfer the RAW image files to a nice android tablet, run PhotoMate R2 and process them on that.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

bigley:

Have you used PhotoMate R2?

It may be fine, but it may simply not do a good job, like Silkypix doesn’t do a particularly good job at raw extraction, or Sony’s IDC is another example of a not great raw converter.

So given that PhotoMate R2 is new and not yet well proven, I avoided mentioning it. Then since Android is a subset of Linux, I wonder...

0 upvotes
bigley Ling

the ability to have RAW processing on the run can be handy when out and about. Of course using a computer is most ideal for optimum raw processing results.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

bigley:

Right.

That wasn't my question, I asked if you've used PhotoMate R2.

Then there's little point in using awful raw extraction software, so if PhotoMate R2 is no good for your camera, there'd be no point in having it.

0 upvotes
AndyHWC

I stopped checking DXO for a long time because its result don't always match what my eyes told me. Is it comparing overall picture quality or pixel noise. To fit 41mp in a tiny sensor, you expect noise to be bad in pixels level. Anyone don't like their 1020, I love to trade my HTC 8x with you.

1 upvote
Steen Bay

The DxO score is based on the 'image level' performance (images downsampled to 8mp).

3 upvotes
Podz

But even at 8mp images are crisper than any compact camera's (at least at base iso). I don't understand why this can't be matched in sensor ratings.

2 upvotes
yabokkie

> you expect noise to be bad in pixels level.

which is not a bad thing.

worse the pixel quality, better the image quality.

0 upvotes
Steen Bay

The sensor score is about things like noise and DR, it doesn't take the resolution into account. Could be interesting if DxO also tested the resolution of the 1020 ('lens score'), which of course is its strongest point (assuming the lens is good enough).

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm

If you check out our full review from some time ago you'll find the DxO mobile report in it which takes into account the lens.

0 upvotes
Podz

Ok, I wrongly thought that SNR score takes into account resolution ^^'

0 upvotes
technotic

How does that work again yab?

0 upvotes
Steen Bay

Rather disappointing performance, I think. Lumia 1020 has a 1/1.5" sensor with twice the area of a 1/2.3" sensor like used in for example Panasonic FZ70, and yet the FZ70 has better SNR and DR if comparing at the same exposure (same 'measured ISO'). Shows that the 1020 sensor has a rather low quantum efficiency (less than half the QE of the FZ70 sensor).

4 upvotes
neo_nights

I'm with you here. Since it's a big sensor, I'd expect a better overall score.

What I fail to understand is why Nokie dropped a bigger sensor (1/1.2") in favor of a smaller one.

0 upvotes
Cameracist

Because of the bulk.

0 upvotes
bloodycape

Since this is pretty much a 2/3" sensor, it would be cool if they worked with Fuji, and got the X20 or even X10 based sensor in their next PureView phone. Now you will notice the difference with that sensor.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Steen:

Where did you find raws from this Nokia to extract?

0 upvotes
Steen Bay

@HowaboutRAW - I didn't, I was just commenting on DxO's test results.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Steen:

Indeed.

DXO sensor scoring isn't real useful. And that's being polite.

1 upvote
Shadowww

HowaboutRAW: here are DNG samples from that phone: http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/10/29/another-nokia-first-digital-negatives-raw-dng-lumia/

0 upvotes
5inchfloppy

The 1020's 1/1.5" sensor wouldn't compare very well with Fuji's 2/3" sensor, due to the higher megapixel count on the Nokia (all them pixels cramped onto tiny space does not make for very good SNR)

0 upvotes
LWW

I am torn! what shall I do! will it be the 38 mp phone or the 50 Phase one! Both news within hours of each other.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm

It's ok to get both

5 upvotes
LWW

You're right, but I'll get the phone first so as I can phone the bank to arrange a second mortgage for the other.

9 upvotes
Juandante

When I saw the Dxomark score, I remembered this review, comming from Dpreview self :

http://connect.dpreview.com/post/5533410947/smartphones-versus-dslr-versus-film?page=2

-_-

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
SergioMO

The funniest ! http://www.phonearena.com/news/Nokia-video-shows-why-the-41MP-PureView-snapper-on-the-Nokia-Lumia-1020-is-better-than-a-DSLR_id51803

0 upvotes
quiquae

On that page, look at the third-floor columns on the left side: they look much thicker on the Lumia than on every other camera. Way too much sharpening resulting in false detail....

0 upvotes
Total comments: 96
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